The tournament will come down to Day 15 but Hakuho is virtually assured of winning his 32nd yusho. With his quick disposal of Harumafuji, Kakuryu is the only one in a position to play spoiler. However, Kakuryu will need to beat Hakuho twice to claim victory and deny Hakuho his place alongside the legendary Taiho.
If Kakuryu loses to Hakuho, he will be tied with Tochinoshin, who’s had a very impressive tournament, on 3 losses. Tochinoshin will surely be replaying his loss to Ichinojo in his mind, wondering what could have been. Surely he’ll get a special prize, and he might even get a jun-yusho and promotion to komusubi next tournament. If he stays healthy, he’ll have a great rivalry with Ichinojo.
As for Ichinojo, with his 8th win today against Kisenosato, he has secured himself an impressive winning record against the top wrestlers. What’s scarier is that some of those losses seemed to be a bit lethargic. If he’s 100% on, I think it’s pretty clear he can contend with the big boys and he’ll hopefully be contending for titles in the new year.
With the tournament pretty well decided, many of the wrestlers seemed to be just going through the motions and there wasn’t much drama in bouts today. Kotoshogiku and Goeido face demotion if they cannot improve next tournament. Kotoshogiku has faced demotion a few times and seems to always pull out the wins needed to stay Ozeki. Goeido hasn’t shown consistent strength at this level so perhaps it’s for the best that he develop a bit more at the sekiwake rank.